Wildcats Win In-State Battle
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TEMPE, Ariz. - Luke Walton scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed10 rebounds and No. 1-ranked Arizona used a 24-5 run late in the first half andearly in the second to beat Arizona State 92-72 on Saturday night.
The blowout came in front of the fourth-largest crowd ever at Arizona State.It was the first time the Sun Devils have hosted a top-ranked opponent.
Channing Frye, coming off a career-best 25 points against USC last Saturday,also scored 23, 17 in the first half for the Wildcats (21-2, 13-1 Pac-10). The6-foot-10 sophomore from nearby Phoenix was 9-for-11 from the field and grabbed10 rebounds.
Rick Anderson tied his career high with 19 points and had a season-best 12rebounds as Arizona dominated the boards 43-32.
The Sun Devils (17-8, 9-5) had won four in a row to lure a crowd of 14,421,including 300 standing room only, the largest at Wells Fargo Arena in 23 years.
But they couldn't stay with the deep, talented Wildcats, who shot 57 percentin one of their best games of the season.
Walton, whose senior season has been slowed by ankle injuries, scored 10 inthe 24-5 outburst.
Tommy Smith scored a season-high 18 for Arizona State. Freshman sensationIke Diogu, who has reached double figures in scoring in every game this season,added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Curtis Millage had 14 points, but shot just5-of-16. Jerome Hill scored 12, but only one in the second half.
Arizona made 19 of 20 free throws, compared with 13-of-23 from ArizonaState.
The Wildcats outscored Arizona State 12-4 in the final 2ï¿½ minutes of thefirst half to go up 51-43 at the break, then went 12-1 to start the secondhalf. When Jason Gardner, who had eight points - all in the second half - and10 assists, punctuated the run with a 10-foot faeaway jumper from the baseline,Arizona led 63-44 with 14:28 to play.
Arizona State never got closer than 11 again.
Arizona shot 63 percent in the first half (20-for-32), to Arizona State's 46percent (16-for-35). The Sun Devils shot just 39 percent for the game.
Frye made 5-of-6 field goal tries and was 5-for-5 at the foul line for his17 first-half points, one shy of the number he scored in the first half in hisprevious game.
Hill was Arizona State's top offensive weapon with 11 points on 4-of-6shooting, but was 0-for-3 in the second half.
Arizona shot out to a 10-2 lead but Arizona State came back to tie it at17-17 on Kyle Dodd's 3-pointer with 12:11 to play in the half. Smith's thirdconsecutive basket gave the Sun Devils their first lead at 28-27, and whenSmith made one of two free throws with 5:26 left before halftime, Arizona Stateled 31-29.
The game was tied five more times before Arizona's late first-half run.
Arizona State played a No. 1 team for the eighth time, and its only victorywas at Oregon State in the final game of the 1980-81 season.